Bert Holtslag is Emeritus Professor of Meteorology and former Chair of Meteorology and Air Quality Section at Wageningen University in the Netherlands (1999-2019). Holtslag has a large track record in research and leadership of national and international projects and programs dealing with weather, air quality, and climate process studies and modelling. His most notable contributions are related to understanding of atmosphere-land interactions, surface fluxes, and boundary layer processes, with implications to wind energy and urban meteorology. He is also known for co-chairing the GEWEX Atmospheric Boundary Layer Study (GABLS).
The new Sergej Zilitinkevich memorial award has been recently established by Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center (ACCC), European Meteorological Society (EMS), Finnish Geophysical Society, Finnish Foundation for Aerosol Research, International Eurasian Academy of Sciences (IEAS), National network Institute for Atmospheric and Earth system research (INAR Finland) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) (in alphabetical order).
The award will be delivered annually to a creative scientist who has made breakthroughs in atmospheric sciences or oceanography. The award acknowledges climate change, air quality research as fundamental assets in our route to find solution to grand challenges at the global scale. It is named to honour the research by the Russian physicist Sergej Zilitinkevich.
Zilitinkevich (1936-2021) made pioneering inventions in the physics of turbulence and atmospheric boundary layers. These inventions have expanded knowledge of the Earth and its climate, contributed to progress in forecasting weather and measuring air quality, and led to new directions in research. He was a founding member of the multi-year international Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) Programme. The PEEX Programme is uniting scientists from Europe, Russia, and China in pursuit of solutions to Grand Challenges, including climate change and environmental pollution.
Zilitinkevich is an example of a life lived in service of Science and having an irresistible desire to understand the surrounding world, striving for a spiritual understanding of the foundations of the Universe and a deep respect for the centuries-old values and traditions of humanity. Nominations for the award are openly selected within international research networks, particularly those related to Zilitinkevich’s activities.